New York leaves you wanting for nothing. No matter what youre looking for, craving, or thinking about, youll find it in the Big Apple. From products, to services, and literally everything in between. Networking events are no different. Theres opportunity to meet, greet, and rub shoulders with like-minded individuals going through (or having gone through) the exact same thing as you.
There are more events planned by more providers than could be possibly be listed here, but the following represent some of the biggest, brightest, and best. Google can list dozens (hundreds!) of other one-offs and hosts for a wide variety of industries.
With a membership (nearly 10,000 strong) that includes entrepreneurs, small business owners, crowdfunding experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, and other interested individuals, its members provide a lot of experience and knowledge - in addition to great questions and curiosity - for the business owner new or established. The group has already hosted 151 events, covering topics about every facet of starting a business. Their goal is to bring together people that can help each other via networking, pitching, and raising startup funds.
Founded in 2004 by Scott Heiferman and Dawn Barber, this organization now boasts over 38,000 members in the New York area. The Tech Meetup focuses on - surprise, surprise - technology and its related industries.
The non-profit hosts monthly events, usually sometime between the 2nd and 5th of the month, where new and emerging companies and entrepreneurs can show off their latest offering and/or idea in a supportive and positive environment. Tickets go fast, so get your name on their mailing list. You can also apply to present at one of their events, giving you a captive audience of 850+ colleagues (and often 15-20 members of the press, too). Since its inception, Tech Meetup has hosted 166 events (and counting).
AlleyWatch defines itself as the destination for startup news in New York. While it doesnt host any events itself, it does bring together a wide range of events happening in New York City and provides the key details (date, time, cost, how to register) all in one convenient place.
Concentrating on all things digital (and the best named of the bunch), iBreakfast plays host to monthly (usually the third Wednesday of the month) networking events that include executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and media, as well as Startupalooza events that bring startups and investors together. You dont have to be a member to attend an event, but members do attend for half-price and receive early notifications and news.
Digital DUMBO is a thriving online community. Their networking events cover a wide variety of topics, including digital trends, financing, marketing, product release and launch parties, and mentoring. Their website contains the full list of upcoming events, including date, time, and online registration form.
Definitely a great choice to see and be seen.
This tech accelerator has a four month program for startups, and plays host to monthly networking events for its members. The structure is always the same: a short introductory talk by the event keynote speaker (usually a venture capitalist), opportunity for each attendee to introduce themselves to the speaker, a Q & A session, and finishing with a pitch session in which each individual (or company) presents their startup idea and receives advice and feedback from the event investor.
Organized and run by the New York Angels group - one of the largest and most successful angel investor groups in NYC - these events revolve around early stage financing and structuring. Membership in the group is free, although events themselves do generally carry a nominal fee to cover costs. The group also hosts frequent webinars and online streaming in addition to its live events bringing together entrepreneurs and investors.
Part of a global initiative, UP New York City brings together resources and people to help promote and foster entrepreneurship.
There are plenty more hosts and listings out there, but you should be able to find virtually everything you need via one listed above. New York has it all. You just need to know where to look...and now you do. So get out there and meet, greet, and be merry. With so many events, you could almost attend a different one each day or the week (or at least each week of the month). Dont let the opportunities they provide pass you by.
Photo by: Sarah Bradley
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